Sacked for Affair, Woman Moves High Court


  • Govt says her character was suspect; she cites certificate of ‘ideal anganwadi assistant’

Mumbai, Dec 19 (mb): Sharada Bhosale (name changed) had to travel all the way to Mumbai from Mahabaleshwar not to find a job but to save the one she had.

Bhosale, an employee of the Satara Zilla Parishad, was sacked two years ago. Reason: she had an extramarital affair. The case came up for hearing in the Bombay high court on Monday.

Bhosale had been working as an aanganwadi assistant in Taldeo village in Mahabaleshwar since 2001. She was terminated from the job on November 28, 2005. What hurt her more than the termination was the nature of the order passed by the chief executive officer of the district council. She said the order stigmatised her.

An affidavit filed by the child development project officer of Mahabaleshwar, SD Shedge, said Bhosale’s “moral character is not good”. The affidavit said that while she was serving as an aanganwadi assistant in Taldeo, she got into an illicit affair with a man named Sachin Sable.

The village headman filed a complaint against Bhosale in October 2005 with the deputy executive officer and the child development project officer. The affidavit said the spouses of both Bhosale and Sable were aware of their relationship.

Shedge said Bhosale tendered an apology for her conduct before the villagers in December 2004. But her counsel, Uday Warunjikar, said she was forced to sign the apology. “Even assuming she did write the letter, can it be used against her without giving her a fair hearing?” he said.

The court remarked that this was virtually a way of harassment.

Shedge contended that since Bhosale was guilty of immoral character, her petition for quashing the termination order of November 2005 should be rejected.

The court, however, asked counsel for the state government if an employee could be removed from service without an inquiry. Assistant government pleader Sudeep Nargolkar said Article 3 (11) of the Constitution provides for termination of an employee’s services without waiting for an inquiry if he/she “creates trouble”.

Shedge justified Bhosale’s termination saying she was, in any case, a temporary employee and was considered unfit to continue. But Bhosale said she received a certificate of ‘Ideal Aanganwadi Assistant’ in 2002.


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